The Flash Flood Watch and Wind Advisory remain in effect for our area. Scattered rain showers have been passing over the mountains all day and are expected to do so well into Wednesday as the storm continues to push northward. The strongest winds are forecast for late this evening, with sustained winds of 25mph and gusts upwards of 55mph still possible. By Wednesday morning, these sustained winds and gusts should gradually weaken, reducing the risk of loosening trees.
All roads and trails accessing Mt. LeConte remain open at this time. The NPS has given no indication of closing its roadways or facilities for the storm; thus, the lodge remains open to serve those who make the climb. Warm food and cozy cabins await those guests with reservations after a wet day on the trail. Conditions across the South should improve by late Wednesday and lead into a beautiful holiday weekend.
The rain, lightning, clouds, and breezes are all here now, and are expected to hang around a solid 36-48 more hours. Even though some intense bands started lashing the region last night, the bulk of the slow moving storm is still churning its way here from the southwest. Temps are in the mid 50s and are unlikely to break the 60s, especially once the cold front sweeps down behind the storm.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for our area this morning through 2:00 PM Wednesday. Several inches of rain are expected to fall, with locally heavier amounts possible in the mountains. This could lead to rapidly swelling creeks and pose hazards along trails with unbridged stream crossings.
A Wind Advisory for our area begins at 2:00 PM this afternoon and lasts through 8:00 AM Wednesday. As the day progresses, sustained winds will increase to 25mph with gusts upwards of 60mph possible. Falling trees pose a hazard with high winds and already saturated shallow surface soil.
All roads and trails accessing Mt. LeConte remain open at this time. So Alum Cave Trail is still a viable option for those looking to make haste. Intermittent rain showers, some heavy at times, have already been happening since yesterday evening. The strongest parts of the storm are yet to arrive. Guests with reservations should not delay in starting up the trail today to beat the higher winds and potential rising creeks expected later. Please make note of any new trail hazards such as downed trees and slides, especially on trails like Alum Cave and Trillium Gap for our llamas. Specifically their location, size, nearby landmarks, and even photos help us and the NPS trail crews a great deal in being able to address them promptly.
Be safe and have a great day.